Maximizing Gmail Productivity with Browser Extensions and Desktop Applications
Gmail has become an essential tool for both personal and professional communication, but it can quickly become overwhelming with a constant influx of emails. In a previous article, we covered the basics of productive email use with Gmail, but there are ways to cut down on even more time and make Gmail an even more powerful application with the help of a few browser extensions and desktop applications.
Firefox Browser Extensions
Firefox browser extensions are simple and common ways to enhance and interface with Gmail. Fortunately, Firefox browser extensions work with most browsers that have been built on Firefox, such as Flock.
GTDInbox: This extension turns Gmail into a task manager in addition to a mail manager. As discussed previously, it’s important to turn emails into actions, and GTDInbox helps achieve this. GTDInbox also features personal information management features.
Better Gmail: This Greasemonkey script compilation by Gina Trapani provides numerous useful features for Gmail including keyboard macros and attachment reminders. It works anywhere Greasemonkey works.
DragDropUpload: This extension enables drag and drop attachment uploading and makes the Gmail interface seem more integrated with your operating system.
Gmail Loader: This tool takes mbox archives and other email archive formats and empties them into Gmail. It is a fantastic way to get old email archives in a searchable format or as a backup in the cloud.
GmailTo: This Greasemonkey script solves the problem of your browser always insisting on using a desktop application to handle mailto links, forcing Firefox to open mailto: links in Gmail as new messages.
Gmail Manager: This Firefox add-on handles multiple Gmail accounts, keeping you notified of new messages and various other statistics in each one.
Desktop applications are still essential to most people’s daily workflow, and some desktop apps can augment and enhance Gmail use.
Gmail Notifier: This is Google’s official desktop application for Windows and Mac OS X, designed to notify you of new mail.
Mail, Entourage, Outlook, or Thunderbird: These applications can be incredibly useful to keep an offline backup of your messages, even though they are not recommended for actual use.
Text Expansion Tools: These tools aren’t Gmail or email specific applications, but they can significantly enhance email productivity. TextExpander and PhraseExpress are recommended for Mac and Windows, respectively, but alternatives include Typinator (Mac) and FastFox (Windows).
Skype: While email can handle most conversations, certain aspects may require complex technicalities or personal nature. In such cases, it’s best to utilize Skype or opt for face-to-face communication.
Maximizing Gmail productivity requires more than just basic email management techniques. These browser extensions and desktop applications can significantly enhance productivity and improve the overall Gmail experience. With these tools, email communication can be more efficient, organized, and productive.